Call it minimalism, call it simplicity, call it whatever you want, modular or “prefab” homes have been part of the global living culture for a few decades. Only until recently, however, have these trends begun to shoot into the stratosphere, with kit homes, shipping container homes, tiny homes and even simple manufactured homes being featured across international media as a part of the sustainable house building revolution.
If you have decided to purchase, construct, and live in an eco-friendly modular home, then you can instantly minimize both your physical and carbon footprint. Here in Australia, we are lucky enough to have the help of domestic and international companies to assist every potential modular homeowner find their dream design.
To make it easier for Australians to see their options, we’ve assembled this list of eco-friendly modular homes for a wide range of living styles.
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Australian Modular Home Manufacturers
Kicking things off with some great modular home options in Australia, purchasing your all-in-one living space domestically is a much more likely way to keep your total carbon footprint down when considering the shipping necessary for large flatbed orders.
Below, we outline some of the most popular and sustainable modular home manufacturers in Australia, highlighting companies both with local and nationwide availability.
Image source: https://ecoliv.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/ecoliv-balnarring-project-2-1024×683.jpg
1. ECOLIV Sustainable Buildings
First, ECOLIV Sustainable Buildings is a Wonthaggi, Victoria-based modular home manufacturer that works directly with its customers to find the right design, delivery, and solution. As “eco” is right in their name, the company is pillared by five environmental goals, manufacturing homes with close attention paid to:
- Energy efficiency
- Water efficiency
- Sustainable resources and materials
- Indoor environment living quality
- And opportunities to reduce waste
If you’re up for the journey to one of the southernmost points of the Australian mainland, potential customers are welcome to visit the scenic ECOLIV sustainable show home overlooking the sea roughly 2 hours south of Melbourne.
On their website, ECOLIV estimates a 14 week construction time for their homes, with delivery options available all across the country. ECOLIV has many great prefab modular homes from studios to 4 bedroom buildings as well as fully customized designs available to purchase.
Learn more about ECOLIV Sustainable Buildings on their website: https://ecoliv.com.au/
Image source: https://www.architectureanddesign.com.au/getattachment/2520dbdd-4cc4-4e6c-ba44-d98c30132a11/ArchibloxClydesdaleHouseCCTatjanaPlitt_house-3.jpg.aspx
Next, Archiblox is a Melbourne-based architectural firm offering modular prefab homes fit for the Australian climate. The company has been recognized for excellence in sustainability and green construction for its energy-efficient home models designed for mindful living.
Arichblox utilizes a few key design principles including:
- Connections, integration, and harmony with nature
- Smart use of natural systems like solar heat and grey water
- And flexibility in space and arrangements
Although they are not going to be the cheapest option in the country, Archiblox can deliver homes to remote areas with most customers receiving the shipment within 20 weeks. While the structure will take only a day or two to construct, finishing touches bring the average total installation time between 3 and 4 weeks.
Explore Archiblox home models and possibilities at www.archiblox.com.au.
Image source: https://www.prebuilt.com.au/wp-content/uploads/Made-for-entertaining.jpg
3. Prebuilt Modular Homes
For 20 years, Prebuilt Modular Homes has worked to become one of the biggest names in Australian construction as an industry leader in prefab homes. The company is committed to ethical excellence guided by innovation and sustainability.
Prebuilt Modular Homes is based in Kilsyth, Victoria on the eastern end of the greater Melbourne metro area. Their homes are very sleek and stylish with a huge variety of models of both affordable and luxurious designs. While the company does take the environment into consideration, Prebuilt Modular Homes may be the better choice for customers more interested in finding a prefab living space with a low investment cost rather than one with the best available eco-friendly materials and practice.
To learn more about Prebuilt Modular Homes, please visit their website: www.prebuilt.com.au.
Next up, Modscape’s modular prefab homes combine innovation with sustainability and beautiful architectural design. Headquartered in Brooklyn, Victoria with a project office in New South Wales, Modscape offers fixed-cost modular homes without any surprises down the road.
Typically, the Modscape process is enjoyed by customers around the country with an average of 12 weeks from purchase to completion. The company offers a variety of prefab models with a focus on indoor/outdoor space and natural light. Full customization is also available by working directly with a Modscape architect.
Check out Modscape’s catalog and possibilities here: www.modscape.com.au.
Image source: http://www.ehabitat.com.au/gallery-1
If you’re on the eastern seaboard of Australia, we suggest considering an “eHabitat” for your modular home purchase. The small company has completed about a dozen buildings across Tasmania and Victoria, each of which features a unique modular space to perfectly fit the environment and living necessities of the inhabitants.
eHabitat homes are designed to be a part of the “5 E’s,” which are:
- Economical – prefab homes reduce construction costs by up to 40%
- Evolving – easily modify a design in the simple cross-section layout
- Energy-efficient – designed for the most temperate regions of Australia
- Expressive – featuring beautiful indoor/outdoor aesthetics
- And Ergonomic – without forgetting the comfort features for quality living.
With passive solar heating and smart alternative energy systems included, eHabitat can help economically and environmentally conscious customers at their Melbourne and Hobart offices.
For more information about eHabitat, please visit their website at http://www.ehabitat.com.au/.
6. Form Homes
Over in Perth, we’d like to feature our first Western Australian modular home manufacturer with Form Homes in Malaga. From Homes utilities SIPS lightweight composite panels, fiber cement, and other sustainable building materials to minimize environmental impact in each installation.
In terms of available models, Form Homes are split between compact and functional layouts with complete customization available for Australian customers. The company has an ongoing commitment to sustainable development, recognizing the necessity of continuous innovation and design improvement.
Additional information about Form Homes can be found here: https://www.formhomes.com.au/.
Image source: https://www.modehomes.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Imgg.jpg
7. Mode Homes
Based in New South Wales just west of Sydney, Mode Homes is a Smithfield-based modular home supplier founded in 2021. After being recognized as a finalist at the 2015 sustainability awards, Mode Homes continues to incorporate smart architecture into projects across the country.
Notably, Mode Homes’ founder designed and patented the “fold-pack” which surprised builders everywhere with a purely simple “foldable” home design. In addition to ease of construction, innovations such as this have helped Mode Homes reduce costs, considerations, and carbon emission of a typical new building installation.
See everything Mode Homes offers on www.modehomes.com.au.
Offering Australian-made homes worldwide, Arkit sells panelized and modular buildings for residential and commercial use. Arkit’s focuses on client/designer collaboration with no two homes quite the same with fully customized features and components.
Unlike many other modular home builders, Arkit provides the construction of all of their projects, fully overseeing the entire project from start to finish. While this may add costs upfront, customers are treated to the assurance from professional builders rather than the uncertainty and time consuming-nature of DIY installations.
Ready to board the Arkit? Explore your options on their website here: https://www.arkit.com.au/.
Image Source: https://anchorhomes.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/marysville-1-2.jpg
9. Anchor Homes
Next, Anchor Homes is another great Australian modular home builder, shipping prefab houses from Victoria to cities and rural areas across the country. Anchor Homes is constantly updating their eco-friendly and sustainable designs, with upgrades such as solar hot water available to meet 6-star energy ratings.
Among others in the country, Anchor Homes have one of the widest varieties of style and feature options without sacrificing anything in their luxury modular designs. The company also supplies a team to help construct your home to 95% completion onsite, with the final touches up to your own discretion.
Visit the Anchor Homes website to learn more: https://anchorhomes.com.au/.
Image source: https://www.strineenvironments.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/01-Millennium-Early-on-Strine-Design-Strine-Environments-Best-Canberra-Builder-Green-Architect-Canberra-Sustainable-house.jpg
9. Strine Environments
As one of the longest-standing modular home builders in the country, Strine Environments has been serving customers with eco-friendly solutions since 1981. Strine Environments is based in Canberra and has developed many unique living spaces best suited for the area’s climate and conditions.
To get into some specifics, Strine’s Eco Modular Homes feature compostable toilets, smart architecture, PV solar systems, and more. Collaboration is a central part of Strine Environments’ projects, with clear pricing guides for the costs during each step of the process.
Additional information about Strine Environments can be found on their website: https://www.strineenvironments.com.au/
10. Fairweather Homes
Based in the heart of Melbourne, Fairweather Homes is another great sustainably-minded Australian modular home builder. Fairweather handles the entire process from design to construction with customization available across their four main options: the Design, Metro, Micro, and Core series homes.
While the company delivers all over Australia, Fairweather exports are also available in New Zealand, South East Asia, and the Pacific regions. Each home comes standard with tons of sustainable integrations, including:
- Renewable energy
- Double glazed windows and insulation
- Thermal mass
- Purposefully sourced materials
- Rainwater harvesting systems
- And more
Explore your options and learn more at http://fairweatherhomes.com.au/.
Image source: MODSNPODS modular homes
If you’d like to minimize your carbon footprint and your physical footprint, the cozy eco-friendly buildings from ModsnPods are one of the best ways to do so in Australia. Focusing on minimalism in every sense of the word, this Gold Coast-based company specializes in backyard homes, granny flats, and offices designed for easy modular construction.
To help customers adopt a new building, ModsNPods offers affordable prices with financing options available. While most models do not come standard with green energy features, it is very easy to keep energy costs low within these low footprint homes.
12. MAAP House
From granny flats to large residential homes, MAAP House in New South Wales provides interesting modular options that utilize quality materials and adaptable designs. The MAAP system is short for “Modular Architectural Adaptable Panels,” which are lightweight, fireproof, and even completely recyclable.
While MAAP houses may not be the cheapest on the list, the award-winning materials used to build each project give individuals and families a comfortable, durable, and environmentally friendly living space. Designs are also completely customizable with client collaboration available for creative modular living spaces.
See a collection of the company’s work and more at Maaphouse.com.
Images source: http://www.ecoshelta.com/assets/images/PROJECTS/West%20End%20Cabin/West%20End%20Cabin.JPG
For small nature-centric pods, EcoShelta is an exciting modular home company to check out in Australia. The Tasmanian manufacturer produces beautiful cabins, homes, granny flats, and even floating houseboats.
Uniquely, EcoShelta uses a process called “EcoCost ” to calculate the best materials, systems, and principles for any installation. Each EcoShelta home can be customized, but most prefabs feature large windows, outdoor living space, and lightweight, sustainable aluminum siding.
Find additional information on EcoShelta’s website: http://www.ecoshelta.com/.
Finally, CarbonLine is an “ultra-efficient home” manufacturer based in Thomastown, Victoria north of Melbourne. CarbonLite’s homes are designed to meet strict “Passive House” standards with five key building features in all of their structures:
- Eco friendly insulation
- High-efficiency windows and doors
- Energy recovery ventilation systems
- Lack of thermal bridges
- And complete airtightness (maximum of 0.6 air exchanges each hour).
Compared to other companies in this article, CarbonLite produces some of the largest and therefore most expensive prefab homes in Australia. Of course, with all of the environmentally friendly living integrations, the investment is designed to be worth it in energy savings over time.
Learn more about CarbonLite and explore home designs here: https://carbonlite.com.au/.
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Modular Homes Shipped from Around the World
So clearly, there are a ton of great Australian modular home manufacturers who keep the environment in mind when constructing and shipping their products. Of course, we’d also like to encourage potential buyers to look beyond the borders and check out some of the options overseas.
Around the world, you may be able to find a specific kind of home design or material that isn’t necessarily available in Australia. Or, you may simply find some inspiration from a foreign concept that can be brought down under. Below, we showcase three of our international favorites.
15. AVRAME – The United States
Originating in Europe, but being made famous in the States, AVRAME is a worldwide distributor of modular, A-frame homes. Bringing the unique look and feel of many mountain homes throughout America, this Utah-based company keeps the environment in mind with its stylish all-in-one designs.
To learn more, please visit their website at https://avrame.com/.
Image source: https://cabin-one.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Cabin-Bay-Minimal-Haus-Minihaus.jpg
16. Cabin One – Germany
Based near Stuttgart, Cabin One is an innovative European modular home manufacturer, primarily serving Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. However, models can be delivered to Australia upon request.
Cabin One focuses on minimal designs to give building owners simplicity and low land impact. Next time you’re in Germany or Austria, you should be aware that visitors are welcome to tour prefab homes in both locations.
For more information on designs and availability, please see Cabin One’s English language FAQ here: https://cabin-one.com/faq/?lang=en.
17. DRM Prefabricated Buildings – Canada
Last but not least, DRM prefabricated buildings are as close as you can get to a one-stop-shop for everything modular. The Canadian-based company ships worldwide with a few specific models with the option to include solar and wind energy directly into the building design. To learn about all of our the oceans in Oceania, visit DRM’s dedicated website here: https://www.drmprefab.com/oceania